Can Truck Drivers Use CBD? 4 Things to Know
Many truck drivers have been turning to products like CBD oils and lotions for relief from pains and aches that come from the job. There has been a growth in popularity of medicinal and recreational marijuana-related products, even though the legal waters are a bit murky. This can be especially concerning for truck drivers since they are used to thinking about drug screenings and the new Clearinghouse regulations. If that weren’t enough, many trucking carriers may prohibit the use of such products. In a recent poll by Drive My Way, all drivers indicated their carriers don’t allow them to use CBD products. So, you’ve probably been wondering “can truck drivers use CBD?” The answer isn’t so simple, so we’ll break it down for you.
Here are 4 things you need to know about CBD and trucking.
1. CBD products aren’t regulated by the FDA yet
CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a compound found in cannabis plants like hemp and marijuana. There are over 113 such compounds in the cannabis plant, known as cannabinoids. The most well-known cannabinoids are CBD and THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the psychoactive agent in marijuana that is responsible for producing the sense of euphoria or the high. It is also measured in drug tests and leads to a positive result if detected.
CBD itself is a non-psychoactive compound—it won’t make you feel high, anxious, or bring redness to your eyes.
CBD is being researched and used for a variety of different medical purposes, and is said to help relieve anxiety, muscle and joint pain, depression, migraines, and other ailments common to truck drivers. Despite these claims of health benefits, CBD products haven’t been regulated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is no consensus in the medical or regulatory community about the effects of CBD on the body. Science and the law haven’t made up their minds about it yet. So, it remains a grey area—it may help you relieve pain, or it may not, but it definitely won’t get you high.
2. CBD may cause individuals to test positive on a drug screening
There are many CBD derived products that are available for use on the market. For example, CBD oil is made by extracting the compound from either hemp or marijuana plants. These products of course contain CBD, but also many other ingredients, including trace amounts of THC. Remember that’s the one that gets you high. Most states require that commercial CBD derived products contain less than 0.3% THC. That’s such a small amount that it’s not going to have any psychoactive effect on your body or get you high. But even these traces could be detected on a drug test!
Some CBD products claim to be “THC-free”, but it’s not clear whether this is the case. People purchasing CDB products cannot be sure the claims of ‘THC-free’ are indeed valid and that they will not test positive on drug tests.
In fact, many CBD products companies will state disclaimers like “We cannot make any claims on whether or not any of our products will show up on a drug test. We are not legally able to make any recommendations or guarantees regarding drug tests on THC free or Full Spectrum products.”
This just goes to show that even though you hear a brand has “zero THC”, there will always be trace amounts that can be detected. In general, CBD lotions tend to have less THC than oils, but even these cannot guarantee the complete absence of THC.
3. State laws differ on CBD products
It’s important to remember that marijuana use is still illegal in most of the country. State laws differ on these matters. As previously indicated, most states require that commercial CBD derived products contain less than 0.3% THC. In a few other states like Nebraska, South Dakota, and Idaho, the use of marijuana in all forms is illegal.
At the federal level, all kinds of marijuana products are still illegal. This means if you are drug tested using the Federal drug testing panel and use marijuana, it will be reported out as a positive drug test.
The recent Clearinghouse regulations mean that this test result data will be available to other employers in the trucking industry. This makes CBD product use very risky for truck drivers. Aside from the laws, drivers have to consider whether their carriers will allow the use of CBD products. Our own poll of drivers shows that all of them said their carriers prohibit CBD product use!
4. Bottom line for truck drivers
So, what’s the bottom line for people wondering “can truck drivers use CBD?” Using CBD products can be dangerous to a truck driver’s career. If a positive result shows up on a drug test, this can stay on your record for good.
Worse yet, the drug tests cannot differentiate THC that came from CBD products and THC that came from ingesting marijuana.
Since manufacturers can’t guarantee a THC-free product, and since these products aren’t well regulated yet, it can be risky for truck drivers to use them.
CBD lotions may be a better option than CBD oil, but even these can’t guarantee no trace amounts of THC. For those truck drivers hoping for pain relief, they may want to look elsewhere. The benefits of CBD aren’t agreed upon, or even well documented. Truck drivers will have to decide whether the potential benefits exceed the risks.
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Can truck drivers use CBD? The answer is legally and medically complicated, but we break down 4 things you need to know about CBD and trucking.
Can Truck Drivers Use CBD Oil?
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Marijuana continues to be a really hot topic across the country. With its medical and recreational use now being considered legal in a number of states, you probably have the same questions as most people: Can you use CBD products when working? Will it show up in a random drug screen?
And with reports of companies charging truck drivers for using CBD products, there’s another question that needs to be addressed: Can truck drivers use CBD oil?
We’ll get to that later, but first, let’s talk about CBD oil.
What’s the Deal with CBD Oil?
CBD or cannabidiol is one of the compounds you can find in cannabis plants like marijuana and hemp. Compared with tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, another popular compound found in the plant, it’s considered as non-psychoactive.
In the last few years, CBD has been a subject of tons of research and most of them point to the compounds medical benefits. It’s considered a big help in the treatment of anxiety, chronic pain, depression, seizures, arthritis, and even sleeping problems.
Basically, CBD oil is not the same as taking edibles or smoking pot that’s loaded with THC. In fact, CBD oil only has a tiny amount of THC (less than 0.3 percent) that it can’t be a psychoactive substance.
In essence, it means that taking CBD oil won’t get you “high” or cause other symptoms like dry mouth, anxiety, and dizziness. For truck drivers, they mostly use CBD oil to deal with low back issues which is a common occupational hazard for them.
Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil: How Are They Different From Each Other?
Hemp oil and CBD oil are considered as wellness ingredients and they come from the same plant. However, if you take a really close look at these two, you’ll realize that they are actually completely different compounds with different makeups and benefits.
CBD oil is a compound that’s pulled or extracted from the cannabis plant’s stalk. Hemp seed oil, on the other hand, comes from the plant’s seed.
Hemp oil contains omegas 3 and 6. It’s considered to be really moisturizing but technically, it doesn’t possess CBD.
It won’t give you the health benefits CBD is known for. However, because of its moisturizing property, you may find it helpful in soothing atopic dermatitis and its annoying symptoms.
Differentiating the two is a bit tricky as brands try to increase sales by marketing their hemp oils in a way that makes people think that they have CBD. Their strategies may include packaging hemp oil in green bottles or using images that people are likely to associate with marijuana and CBD oils.
Now, because hemp oils don’t contain CBD or even THC, they aren’t likely to get truck drivers into trouble, particularly in routine drug tests.
However, this doesn’t mean that truck drivers using hemp oils are completely safe from failing drug testing.
You see, while it’s true that hemp oil doesn’t contain CBD, there are brands that are true to their claims of including the compound in their products. So, for the safety of truckers, it’s highly recommended that they read the labels of the products they use.
It’s also a big help if they can do further research.
So, Can Truckers Legally Use CBD Oil?
The answer is complicated.
You see, no matter what brand you buy, it will still be a risk. All brands have at least a trace amount of the compound THC.
Because of the extraction process, a lot of CBD oils will contain 0.02% THC or lower. This tiny amount shouldn’t show up on drug tests– unless you’re taking way more than you’re supposed to.
Now, here’s the worrying part.
There are people who failed their drug screen tests after taking CBD oil. These people have no history of marijuana use and the only thing remotely close to it that they used was CBD.
It turns out that with a trace amount of THC, there’s always the possibility of getting a positive.
How’s that possible?
The risks of getting a false positive are related to the inconsistencies that happen during the manufacturing of the CBD products. These inconsistencies make it hard for consumers to determine exactly what they are getting their hands on.
The CBD products you can buy over the counter are actually not approved or even regulated by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA. With that, it’s easy for a company to produce a pseudo cannabis product and put it out on the market.
Believe it or not, there are actually products sold that aren’t even CBD at all.
Another reason you can get a false positive is when you take more than 1,000 milligrams per day. An average CBD user is likely to consume between 120 to 160 milligrams per day. When you take more than the average daily dose, there’s a chance you could fail your test.
This is because THC happens to be fat-soluble. It’s not metabolized right away by the body.
Instead, it’s stored in your fat tissues. As time goes by, your body slowly releases THC and THC metabolites.
So even if you stopped taking it, there’s still a possibility for you to fail the test.
In some cases, the product isn’t the problem. There are simply people who process CBD differently.
Furthermore, drug tests can’t really differentiate if the THC they detected came from marijuana or your CBD oil. With that, truckers don’t have a way to prove that they aren’t using marijuana for recreational purposes.
After getting a positive test, you will need to be evaluated by a substance abuse professional. You will also need to complete the recommended treatment and have negative results on your follow-up tests.
Companies are charging truck drivers for using CBD products, there’s a question that needs to be addressed: Can truck drivers use CBD oil?